In this week’s audio channeling we are encouraged to get in alignment with the greater healing and life fulfilling possibilities for us all, especially on a personal level. Embrace life and it will embrace you. Give it a try this week and see what happens!
And may we all experience a wonderful and fulfilling week!
Guilt is the emotional consequence of knowing, on some level, that we are not the mask we portray ourselves to be in the world. We are guilty because we know we fail to meet the standard of perfection. We are aware of our inferiority and our darkness hidden within.
Actually, this knowing is a saving grace, because despite having to suffer the torture of guilt, we are owning the existence of our dark side. We encounter and suffer inwardly the dilemma that in a less conscious individual is only known through the disowned projection of one’s dark side onto a scapegoat that reflects the hidden darkness within. In projection, guilt is avoided because the real problem is projected “out there.” It can be eliminated and controlled by imprisoning or killing off the bad guy “out there.”
Our time is rife with mass projections of evil onto Muslims, Mexicans, African Americans, women, Democrats, Republicans, Jews, Palestinians; the list is endless. The world is currently completely divided into separatist camps that see themselves as morally superior to all others. They completely project their inferior dark side onto some other camp “out there.”
The preponderance of these polarized camps in our time is the surface repercussion of a more deeply brewing clash between the collective unconscious that contains all our darkness with the idealized moral superior values that our egos identify with in our religions and modernistic lifestyles. Would that the collective consciousness of the world could feel guilty, that is, own more fully and grapple with the true depth of its nature versus continually locating it outside where it destroys its neighbor and the world in order to be delivered from its own evil.
Unfortunately, though the world must arrive at this deeper truth to survive now, it is the individual that must lead the world in this task. The individual who faces their own shadow is the advance guard of a transformed world. On the other hand, how fortunate that every individual who faces the true depth of their own shadow advances the world on its path of survival. How empowering!
How do we own our shadow? How do we resolve our guilt? To begin with, as long as we only identify ourselves as light beings, or as beings who must be purified of or relieved of our own darkness, we will always suffer guilt. As Erich Neumann states:
“Just as light cannot be extinguished by the superior power of darkness, so too there is no evidence to show that darkness can ever be abolished by any superior power on the part of light.” *
Light requires the contrast of shadow to be defined; dark requires the contrast of light to be known. One cannot be separated from the other and be whole. The two are inextricably opposite sides of the same wholeness.
Human beings are beings of light in their spirit, as reflected in mental processes and consciousness. Human beings are beings of darkness in the depths of their instinctual, animal natures. Spirit beings could not be in this world without their animal bodies. Animal and spirit are inextricably linked in a partnership in this world, saddled with the challenge of developing a relationship which acknowledges and finds life for both animal and spirit.
If we identify with an ethic that says passion and pleasure are evil, we will suffer guilt. Our wounded animal self will torture, ad nauseum, our morally superior controlling ego with depression and “bad” fantasy. We must abandon this old ethic. Our new ethic must grant the human animal its basic human right: The right to pursue happiness. With this gesture, our spirit consciousness acknowledges its animal partner, though the challenge of true integration and reconciliation with the fullness of who we are is indeed the greatest human challenge.
Guilt can be relieved when we accept that the animal hungers, lusts, and rages. The fact that the animal has these experiences does not make it bad; it simply makes it a human animal.
Of course, it is equally appropriate for its spirit counterpart to require of the animal a bit of refinement and restraint. Once the animal energies can find satisfaction and expression, with conscious consent and collaboration that allows for a fuller expression of all that we are, we advance.
What ultimately will relieve us of our guilt, is to embrace a new human ethic: Integrated wholeness versus perfection based on suppression or repression of the animal—that which has led us to our current status: a crumbling civilization with its discontents!
May we all herald in this new ethic, beyond guilt, as brave pioneers taking full responsibility for our individual wholeness in our interdependent one world.
Going beyond, Chuck
* Reference: Erich Neumann, Depth Psychology and a New Ethic, p. 46.
Note: I am grateful to Erich Neumann and his book, Depth Psychology and a New Ethic, which has inspired much of this blog.
We live in a world of polarities. We come into life; we die. You can’t have one without the other; they are opposite sides of the same coin. To obtain the full value of that two-sided coin we must integrate both of its sides, positive and negative. By merging this seeming opposition into its true wholeness we allow fulfillment in this life and at death, as we seek to continue resolved of this life.
If we consider being positive as seeing the good qualities, the brighter side of life, we can see how a positive attitude invites openness, joining and expansion in our life decisions. Conversely, if we see being negative as a focus on the bad qualities of someone or something, we can see how a negative attitude helps us to create sharp boundaries and separateness, conservatively generating protection from the potential ill-effects of contact beyond the self.
In effect, positive moves us toward greater union, negative maintains protective boundaries. From this perspective we can appreciate both positive and negative as necessary attitudes to regulate and navigate life.
If I am to remain open to new life, be it through a relationship, experience or opportunity, I must be able to see the potential good in all of these situations. On the other hand, if I am to properly protect myself I must be open to seeing the predatory and dangerous potential in all encounters with living beings and life’s offerings.
Successful navigation of life necessitates the ability to integrate both negative and positive perspectives. We are all bipolar beings who must find the right balance of positive and negative perspectives. Bipolar disorder is actually a failure to find a constructive integration of these bipolar attitudes.
In extreme cases we see a lack of corrective balance between poles where an individual clings too rigidly to one pole or another. For example, an extreme attachment to the positive pole can lead to such expansiveness that one gives up sleeping, hits the casinos and exhausts a life’s savings on a whim, seeing no need for limitation.
At the other extreme, over-attachment to the negative pole can lead to such a deep sense of futility in engaging in life that one might sink into a suicidal depression. In actuality, bipolar disorder leads to powerful mood swings. Eventually, the clinging to one pole exhausts into the opposite side, be it from negative to positive or visa-versa.
We live in a time where negativity and cynicism dominate. On one level this is an honest reaction to the expansive one-sided attitude of wealth and capital that sees no need for limitation, sharing, or protection of the environment.
However, when negativity is overly dominant it tends to generate a feeling of powerlessness, with little energy left to make any effort toward positive change. While we need to respect the truths that the negative perspective reveals, we must also be mindful of becoming too polarized to this extreme, which can lead to inertia and indifference.
On the other hand, sometimes depression is necessary, as life as it has been lived must be halted while we go inward to find the seeds of new positive life. Seedlings require care and attention, as does bringing new parts of the self into life. This is not the time of rapid expansion indicative of a dominantly positive attitude.
Even in the midst of a depression, however, I generally suggest remaining positively negative. That is, to hold onto the positive knowing that even a depression is but a stage in the birth of new life with its eventual return to expansiveness that in due time will recede and acquiesce to even newer life, as we take our ever-evolving journey.
Carl Jung brought our attention to nature’s use of the mandala as a symbol of our wholeness. Whenever some configuration of a circle and a square appears in a dream, follow that trail. Pick up that lowly copper penny inside a box, something of your valuable wholeness lies there. Follow that bouncing ball as it hits the square pavement stones. It may lead you to the next piece of the puzzle of self.
Typically, the mandala is divided into four sections, symbolic of our divided selves. Wholeness requires that we discover, develop, relate to, and bring into an integrated life, our very divided and separated inner selves.
Perhaps at the deepest level our divided selves reflect our lives lived through infinity, our incarnations in different worlds at different times. Sometimes in my consulting room clients are compelled to visit and integrate the challenges and lessons of past lives. More often than not, however, this deeper integration awaits as a final task to completion of our present life, as we prepare for transition into new life.
Division within the self is often a function of trauma. In childhood trauma especially, our developing selves are confronted with challenges beyond our ability to emotionally and cognitively master. Such experiences are split off, frozen in time, stored in the body for future reconciliation when our evolving self has greater mastery and an ability to meet the challenges of its lost self or selves.
All individuals experience splintering of self through the normal socialization process known as education. During schooling we are sharply molded into more uniform beings, despite personality differences. Unacceptable thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are relegated to what Carl Jung called the shadow personality that takes up life in the darkly impersonal unconscious mind and body.
That shadow personality seeks life in our fantasy, in our less than conscious states where it can seize control in psychic projections and obsessions that dominate our attention, regardless of conscious rational intent. Even predatory behaviors may be viewed as compensatory states of shadow possession, reactive to the dominating power of socialization. It’s no wonder we have a society up in arms about limitation of its arms, so aware are we of the destructive power of the shadow. Would that we were equally aware of the nature of projection; where the shadow is so easily disowned within the self, only to be feared and projected, placed out there, in the dangerous other.
The truth is, we are a multiplicity of beings, in fact a multiplicity of energetic beings. As Jan hints in her blog, we may indeed all be the same being. Wow, the integration of that realization is indeed of the highest order!
Our challenge, as Jung’s discovery of the archetypal mandala suggests, is to find all our missing parts and fit them into a unified whole. These parts all come with their challenges, ranging from facing a past life to facing down the tyrants of trauma and freeing the lost children of the self, to finding one’s voice in song or finding one’s rhythm in body movement.
The shamanic tool of recapitulation, like following the bouncing ball of the mandala in dreaming, is a time worn tool to putting in order the multiple personalities we call Self. That task is a journey of a lifetime. It’s why we’re here.
I end with a quote from The Book Of Us, Jeanne speaking of taking the road to life’s completion, channeled by Jan on May 30, 2008:
The ultimate purpose and reason for living in that realm is to complete your evolution at that level of learning, and to prepare the self to move on to the next level. Completion entails taking into consideration every bit of who you are, and putting together the puzzle of the self, holding the self responsible for finding what you need to make this completion happen …To achieve completion must you be prepared to leave your recapitulated self upon the shores of that world and advance to a new level where only completed souls may go..
Following that bouncing ball and dreaming on,
In the beginning, so say the scientists, was the Big Bang, and the universe was born. In his seminal piece, The Trauma of Birth (1924), Otto Rank describes the Big Bang experience of human birth and its psychological impact throughout the life cycle.
On a soul level, many have retrieved their journeys through infinity; their lives lived before the big bang birth into their current lives in this world. These soul retrievals point to a parallel life, a soul of many lives that gives birth to the Self of this life.
The decision as to what life to be born into is made at that soul level, as part of that soul’s evolving journey and needs in infinity. Some have called this process Karma.
For most of us, the big bang experience of our birth trauma into the life we are in is a shock that severs us from the knowing of our soul and our many lives previously lived. We are born into a maze with huge walls that seal off the memory of prior life and our connection to our greater soul that continues to live in tandem with the self we become in this world.
We are here on a mission, and that mission requires a blank slate maze-of-unknowing. A maze is a definite, constrained life: a family, a culture, a set of circumstances, a world within which to encounter specific challenges, and a world within which to develop an identity, a sense of self, an Ego—a point of consciousness.
That ego will become our working definition of who we are and also our engine to accomplish our mission in this world, that is: the reason we came here, the reason we were born into the circumstances we arrived into.
Had we the full awareness of our greater soul coming into this life, our mission would be compromised. We’d be unable to fully inhabit the role we need to experience in taking on the challenge of this life. However, the ego does, in its separated state from its greater soul, experience a deep underlying sense of insecurity and separation anxiety. The ego retains an awareness of its orphan state and part of its mission in this world is to reunite with its true birth parent, its greater soul.
Life for the ego is a fragmented self in a fragmented world—life in a maze—a neatly constructed world, but only a fragment of life at large.
Traumas beyond birth continue the fragmentation of ego self into Ego States. Ego states are separate senses of self that coexist and live in tandem—parallel lives in tandem, parallel lives within the ego’s life in this world.
Ego states may be hidden from or known to each other. Some ego states remain largely in the closet, holding frightening traumatic memories. Some ego states suffer arrested development, child states necessarily pushed aside or denied for adaptive reasons. We discover and live the parallel lives of our ego states in our symptoms—i.e.: ailments, diseases—hinting at and suggesting the truths of our parallel lives. We discover and live the parallel lives of our ego states in our mood states—i.e.: depression, elation, hope, hopelessness, fear, etc. We also discover our ego states in obsessive projections—those we are drawn to in admiration or those we abhor. Somewhere in those projections are the mirrors to our unknown, unloved, or forgotten ego states. We also discover our ego states and our connection to our greater soul in dreams, active imagination, and synchronistic phenomena.
If we can suspend our rational judgments and explore the characters and messages of dreams, synchronicities, and other psychic phenomena, we begin to step outside the maze of our narrow selves and access the fullness and resource of all that we truly are.
This is the process of integration that unites the fragments of this life and potentially the fragments of all lives lived—our greater soul—within this life. This is a mighty task though, as it asks us to truly take in the Big Bang realization of all that we are: We are much more than our orphan ego clings to in its neatly defined maze.
Though the knocking down of the walls of our mazes may shatter our “known” selves, it is not without its rewards. We discover a-maze-ing resources and a life of magic now freed for fulfillment beyond the maze, a once needed but now much too small home.
Out of the many become one: Parallel lives united, beyond the maze, continue the soul’s journey in infinity.